Screen Australia announces First Nations Game Studio fund

Screen Australia has launched the First Nations Game Studio fund.

Up to two First Nations-led game studios will receive $150,000 each per year for two years under a new initiative from Screen Australia.

Applications are now open for the First Nations Game Studio fund, which is designed to support established game studios that are currently operating and primarily under the leadership and creative control of First Nations people.

It follows the introduction of Screen Australia’s $6 million Games: Expansion Pack fund in March last year, with 41 games having since shared $5.5 million of support.

Screen Australia head of First Nations Angela Bates said the agency was proud to further its commitment to supporting First Nations creatives in telling authentic stories “across so many platforms for the screen”.

“[The fund] is a fantastic opportunity for First Nations game studios to build their businesses and create games that will cut through and establish a place within this billion-dollar global industry,” she said.

Screen Australia head of online Lee Naimo said the fund represented a strong area of priority for Screen Australia games funding.

“This fund aims to respond to the significant opportunity that is presented by First Nations game makers already engaged in building sustainable studios in Australia and will enable these teams to grow and solidify their businesses while maintaining their creative output,” he said.

For Arts Minister Tony Burke, who pledged $12 million to bring back the Australian Interactive Games Fund when launching the National Cultural Policy in January, it was critical to support the stories of First Nations communities.

“Australia’s videogame developers are significant storytellers, and this fund will ensure First Nations stories are told in one of the world’s fastest-growing industries,” he said.

Find out more information about the guidelines and how to apply for the First Nations Game Studio fund here.